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Saturday, May 30, 2020

Fort Thomas to Begin Partial Safe Opening of Parks and Recreation Facilities

Fort Thomas announces Phase One of plan to reopen parks and recreation facilities.

by Robin Gee, city council beat editor

Parks, open spaces and trails in Fort Thomas will be open for some activities starting June 1 with health and safety guidelines in place.

City Administrator Ron Dill announced Phase One of the city’s plan for reopening parks and recreation facilities, while continuing to practice measures to ensure resident safety.

"The city has spent considerable effort in balancing the offer of parks, facilities and other public amenities with the measure against maintaining public safety and confidence. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected all of our lives in many ways, and we are adjusting with each decision we make moving forwards to minimize its impact," Dill said in a recent memo about the plan.

He and city staff have been working with city officials to create a plan that would help the community resume as many normal activities as possible. They have also been working with government agencies, health organizations and neighboring communities to ensure that efforts follow regulations and guidelines to keep the community safe.

"This effort requires certain protocols beyond our previous routines and in some instances additional personnel and/or training is necessary. We ask for your continued patience and assistance as we all work toward being fully operational," he said.

Barre3 Ft. Thomas. Located at 90 Alexandria Pike in Fort Thomas Plaza. 

Phase One begins this coming week

Although Phase One will officially begin on June 1, the city will continue to monitor and adjust as needed. Here are some highlights:

  • All city parks, open spaces, trails remain open for passive recreational activities only; no groups, family units only.
  • Tower Park tennis courts and Highland Park disc golf course will be open — participants must provide their own equipment. Social distancing is required.
  • The Armory Gymnasium will be open to walkers beginning at 7:30 a.m., M-F only; basketball court will be available through reservation between 9 a.m. and noon, M-F only. Reservations are limited to one half-hour, must be family units/adult supervised and provide your own equipment. No practices or scrimmages permitted.
  • Park shelter rentals and game room/meeting room rentals can be reserved for dates beginning July 1 (for gatherings of 50 or less). Contact the Recreation Department at (859) 781-1700.
  • The Farmers Market has its opening day on Wednesday, June 3, from 3 to 7 p.m. in Tower Park. The market will be set up to comply with the Northern Kentucky Health Department standards but remains very accessible and full of traditional offerings. 

RELATED: Fort Thomas Farmers Market Returns June 3, New Safety Guidelines

Phase Two planned for mid-June

Dill also shared a few details of a Phase Two that is planned to begin on June 15 with the opening of fields for youth sports — baseball, softball, teeball— practices only. Permits will be issued by the city through respective league directors.

All Kentucky Healthy at Work Guidance for Youth Sports and Athletic Activities will be required for participants including limitation on the number of participants and no competitions.

June 29 is another key date for Phase Two. At that time the plan is to expand youth sports activities to include competitions and gathering of up to 50 spectators. Social distancing, as outlined in the Kentucky Healthy at Work guide will be required.

On a side note, Dill said the city does not own or operate any public pools. Residents with questions about pools should contact the owner or operators of these facilities for their schedule and opening plans.

Again, Dill noted these plans could change as more information or guidelines become available. He also said the city is exploring alternative events for summer celebrations including the Fourth of July, Summer Concert Series and Art Around Town, as well as new opportunities and ideas for public participation.

Keep an eye on the city of Fort Thomas website for more information and details as they unfold.

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